Research has shown that our brains crave challenges and stimulation. As we age and continue to follow the same routine day in and day out, finding ways to challenge the mind becomes increasingly important. To maintain your sharp edge and mental prowess, try a few of these strategies.
1. Play games. Not only can games help you stay mentally sharp, but they can also provide a great opportunity to socialize. Getting together with friends once a week to play cards can be a good way to maintain social relationships.
When you’re waiting somewhere like the doctor’s office, use your smartphone or iPad to play Paddy Power Bingo on the go. If you don’t have a smartphone, you can always bring a small book of logic puzzles or crossword puzzles.
Don’t forget the many games on your computer that you get for free. These can help your mind stay sharp, too.
2. Read a good book. During childrearing years, finding time to read a good book can be a challenge, so you may let reading fall by the wayside. However, once the kids are out of the nest (before the grandkids come), you can likely find plenty of time to read. Rather than watching television in the evening, dive into a good book. Even better, reading is a great way to relax and unwind after a busy day.
3. Try something new. Our brains crave new experiences. Once you’re retired, you have the time to try something new. That might mean taking a vacation to a new destination. Or perhaps you take the time to learn a new instrument or a second language.
If you’re really daring, you might even enroll in a college course or two. Some community colleges offer free classes to seniors. You can sharpen your mind and pursue a college degree.
4. Keep a journal or write your biography. A low stress way to sharpen your mind that is also free is to keep a journal. You can write about your day, your political opinion, anything you’d like to write about.
Another idea is to write your own biography. This can be a valuable resource for future generations. You can take the time now to tell your story so your grandkids and their kids can learn about you and your childhood after your gone. I’ve had a few relatives who have done this, and their reminiscing is something I cherish, especially now that they’re no longer here with us to tell their stories.
Retirement is a time to embrace the activities you have always wanted to do but didn’t have the time to do. Try to do something new to keep your mind sharp, and take the time to read, write or play a game every day. Your mind craves the mental stimulation.
What is your favorite activity to do to keep your mind sharp?